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What’s Yoga Got to Do with Clinical Trial Access?

Darcy Grabenstein

December 23, 2019

If you’re like me, you may find it hard to focus on work at this time of year. Numerous distractions get in the way: holiday parties, office gatherings, gifts to buy, meals to prepare.

Recently, each day when I look at my work to-do list I have trouble checking it once, let alone twice. Deadlines – both at work and at home – can be daunting. As the year comes to an end, it’s often difficult to decide where to begin.

So when my motivation started to flag, I resisted the temptation to reach for the cookie jar. Instead, I reached for my yoga mat and headed to the studio this weekend.

As I looked around the room, I saw others suffering from this seasonal malady of malaise. And as we drew in – and exhaled – a collective breath, you could feel the tension in the room dissipate.

In many yoga classes, we are asked to set an intention for our practice. (And “practice” is a good word for what we do, especially in my case, as my intention compensates for my lack of form.)

Often, one’s intention is focused inward. Perhaps you want to give yourself more control, more energy, be at peace, be grateful.

I decided, however, to turn my intention outward and focus on empathy. What I quickly discovered was that, in doing so, I would able to better focus on my work.

You see, chronic pain and certain physical limitations make yoga extremely challenging for me. But that’s exactly why I force myself to keep going back: to attempt to regain flexibility and range of motion.

Yoga has a way of opening up one’s mind as well as one’s joints. With my new intention, I realized that, while my own physical limitations may be annoying, they do not (yet) keep me from doing the things I love: yoga, dancing, bike riding. My conditions are not life threatening.

For thousands of people the world over, however, their physical conditions are much more serious and, in many cases, life threatening. These patients pin their hopes on clinical trials – and the treatments resulting from them – to ease their pain, provide a cure, lengthen their lives.

That’s when the proverbial light bulb went off in my head.

It’s all about the patients.

Of course, I knew this all along. But applying this “mantra” to even the most mundane tasks of my job gives them meaning and purpose.

At the end of the class when we all entered the shavasana pose, flat on our backs on our mats, eyes closed, we were instructed to fully relax our minds and bodies. Easier said than done. As I was lying there, futilely trying to clear my mind, the idea for this blog post took shape. I wanted to share my epiphany with my coworkers at TrialScope and all who touch the world of clinical trials, even if tangentially.

The team at TrialScope is truly passionate about clinical trial transparency and access. Some of us just need to be reminded of the bigger picture every once in a while.

During this holiday season, I ask that we all think of those less fortunate than ourselves. And when it comes to clinical trials, remember: It’s all about the patients.


About the author

Darcy Grabenstein is Senior Manager of Content Marketing Strategy at TrialScope. With a background in journalism and public relations, she has 30-plus years of experience in communications.